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Why people are still advised to avoid football games even when the stadium doesn't have a roof

Screaming fans, packed into stadiums cause concern during delta surge

HOUSTON — College football is back, so why are most experts telling even die-hard fans to stay home?

COVID concerns continue

For the first time since 2019, almost all football stadiums will be fully open to fans. But when Kaiser Health News talked to seven public health experts in big football states — six of the seven told fans to stay home. You can blame that on delta, with cases surging and hospitals filling up it’s too big of a risk even if you are fully vaccinated.

Close contact with yelling fans

Since most college stadiums don’t have a roof, you might think they are safe. And the experts do say the outdoor events are less likely to lead to infection thanks to air circulation. But you run into trouble because fans are packed in close to each other, and as any football fanatic will tell you there is an awful lot of screaming. That also means there is a lot of virus being sprayed into the air.

Get vaccinated and wear a mask

So how can you stay safe if you insist on going to the game? The best line of defense is to be vaccinated. Some schools, like LSU, are requiring fans to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID test. And once you are vaccinated, you should still wear a mask except when eating and drinking. What the experts say is less risky is tailgating outside with a few vaccinated friends, and let's face it, sometimes that is the best part of gameday anyway.

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